The Following of Christ, Book I, Chapter XVI

cover of the ebook 'The Following of Christ'Of bearing the defects of others

1. What a man cannot amend in himself or others, he must bear with patience, till God ordains otherwise.

Think, that it perhaps is better so for thy trial and patience: without which, our merits are little worth.

Thou must, nevertheless, under such impressions, earnestly pray that God may vouchsafe to help thee, and that thou may bear them well.

2. If any one being once or twice admonished, does not comply, contend not with him: but commit all to God, that his will may be done, and he may be honoured in all his servants, who knows how to convert evil into good.

Endeavour to be patient in supporting others defects and infirmities of what kind so ever: because thou also hast many things which others must bear withal.

If thou canst not make thyself such a one as thou wouldst: how canst thou expect to have another according to thy liking?

We would willingly have others perfect: and yet we mend not, our own defects.

3. We would have others strictly corrected: but are not willing to be corrected ourselves.

The large liberty of others displeases us: and yet we would not be denied any thing we ask for.

We are willing that others should be bound up by laws: and we suffer not ourselves by any means to be restrained.

Thus it is evident how seldom we weigh our neighbour in the same balance with ourselves.

If all were perfect: what then should we have to suffer from others for God’s sake?

4. But now God has so disposed things, that we may learn to bear one another’s burdens: for there is no man without defect; no man without his burden: no man sufficient for himself; no man wise enough for himself: but we must support one another, comfort one another, assist, instruct, and admonish one another.

But how great each one’s virtue is, best appears by occasion of adversity: for occasions do not make a man frail, but shew what he is.